updated 7/25/2006 9:33:43 AM ET 2006-07-25T13:33:43

Online gambling company BetOnSports PLC said Tuesday it had fired its chief executive following his arrest in the United States on racketeering charges.

The sports-betting Web site operator said it was terminating the contract of David Carruthers and removing him as a director as a consequence of his detention.

"Clearly, while he remains in the custody of the U.S. government, he is unable to perform his duties," the company said in a statement.

Carruthers, 48, was arrested July 16 at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport in Texas while trying to make a connecting flight from the United Kingdom to Costa Rica, where BetOnSports is based.

The company suspended trading of its shares two days later.

Carruthers and 10 others, including the founder of BetOnSports, were named in a 22-count indictment unsealed this week by federal prosecutors in St. Louis. The government says BetOnSports fraudulently took bets from U.S. residents by phone and the Internet, and failed to pay excise taxes.

Copyright 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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